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Kiwi violinist Benjamin Baker steps in

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra are pleased to announce that New Zealand violinist Benjamin Baker will be stepping in to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in his debut with the orchestra on Thursday 27 October, after French violinist Alexandra Soumm withdrew due to illness.

Mr Baker last performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London only a few weeks ago, and has recently performed with the Philharmonia, the Cardiff Philharmonic and other orchestras in the UK, as well as recitals at Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and other major venues.

Born in 1990, Mr Baker studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music where he was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. In 2013 he won First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Windsor Festival International Violin Competition, and was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust. Closer to home he was the New Zealand Development Prize Winner at the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

APO Music Director and conductor for Thursday’s concert, Giordano Bellincampi, says he is delighted to give this opportunity to a young New Zealand violinist and is looking forward to working with him.

This will be Benjamin Baker’s debut performance with the APO, and Chief Executive Barbara Glaser says she is looking forward to the performance. “We’re very sorry that Alexandra Soumm has had to withdraw due to illness, and look forward to inviting her back in the future. Fortunately, in Benjamin we have secured one of the most exciting young artists to emerge out of this country and I know that his APO debut will be very special.”

Ms Soumm was scheduled to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in the Newstalk ZB Series concert ‘Outraged’, and has expressed her disappointment and offered her apologies to Auckland audiences. We wish her the very best for a speedy recovery.

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